Musto Skiff

2012 Dutch Training at Bruinisee Bookmark and Share

Report by Coach Graeme Oliver
Photo Tris Williams

The Dutch open Skiff Regatta at Bruinisee gave the perfect opportunity to run a Musto Skiff training session for the growing Dutch contingent. First, what a fantastic venue, those of you who didn’t get the chance to come really need to get to the next event there, this is a stunning venue!

Second, what a great welcome, Tristan and Huud did a great job of organising the training and the venue to give the perfect mix of social, good wind and good water….oh and good beer!

So to the training, with a mirror finish on the water we stuck to the land in the morning and went through shore drills for the Musto Skiff & 700. The main issue noticed was the need to get weight forward after the tack to drive the boat driving as soon as possible. A great way to sort this is by keeping your head facing forward after you cross the boat, really makes you accelerate faster and concentrate on waves, trim & wind. After lunch there were glimmers of hope on the water and after another quick session on gybing we took to the water to put it all into action. A prize for the most (and most amusing) swims must go to Huud, but he would also get the most improved as by the end of the second day his tacking was really getting there.

After a couple of practice races the fleet headed to the shore for beer, fish & chips & a video debrief (will post these videos online soon). The main issue noticed was that when training it’s best to slow everything down and think about what you are aiming to do before you do it, rather than rushing and not improving (no names mentioned Mr Djikstra!!!!)

The second day dawned with perfect conditions, 10-15kts breeze & sun. After a quick briefing on starts, evil coach was in play…..

The plan was to set a startline and do a 3 minute countdown, the idea being that the fleet would be on the line at 1 minute, holding station, which they did…..enter evil coach……who didn’t blow the whistle on time, might be early, might be late. This forces people to be ready to go and react better to starts. This provided many amusing moments but in general the fleet handled it brilliantly, great exercise, will use this again!

After a great al-fresco lunch we went into some practice races to test people’s wind reading and tactics, with 2 windward marks (one 75m further upwind) and a leeward gate each boat had to pass by each windward mark once, this made everyone look for the gusts and shifts to see if they could gain by doing the shorter one first or vice versa and took the emphasis off the starts as it was always possible to get clear air. It was a real mix of tactics with each windward mark paying differently each race depending on the gusts coming down the course! With Paul and Elaine showing the best overall tactics it was great to watch.

Final race was winner takes all, handicap with some boats going to the longer mark twice, some once and some only to the closer mark twice. Huud took the gun and with it the overall “I’m faster than Paul Djikstra trophy” I think they all slept well that night, good job, there was still the regatta to go…

A fantastic event held with great sailors, great organisation, great venue, great weather (25 deg+ for 4 days), great accommodation walking distance, what more could you want…..see you again next year!!

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